Johnny Depp discusses Tonto role in ‘The Lone Ranger’: ‘I wanted him to be more than a sidekick’

Actor says he wanted character to be 'a warrior with integrity and dignity'

Johnny Depp has said that he tried to ensure his portrayal of Tonto in the forthcoming The Lone Ranger film made him seem more than a sidekick.

Depp will star in Disney’s big summer blockbuster as the companion to the iconic title character, who first appeared in a 1930s radio show and has since spawned his own novels, comic books and TV series. Armie Hammer will take on the role of the masked hero in the big budget western.

Speaking about his own role as the Native American Tonto, however, Depp told Total Film: “Since cinema has been around, Native Americans have been treated very poorly by Hollywood.”

What I wanted to do was play Tonto not as a sidekick – like ‘Go fetch a soda for me, boy!’ – but as a warrior with integrity and dignity. It’s my small sliver of a contribution to try to right the wrongs of the past.”

The Lone Ranger is Depp’s latest collaboration with Gore Verbinski, director of the first three Pirates of The Caribbean films, and Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of all four Jack Sparrow movies.

The Lone Ranger‘s cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson and former 24 actor James Badge Dale. Originally, Jack White was down to write the film’s score, but he pulled out last December (2012) due to a scheduling conflict and was replaced by prolific film composer Hans Zimmer.

The Lone Ranger opens in the US on July 4, but UK cinema-goers will have to wait until August 9 to see it. To see a trailer for the film, click at the bottom of the page.